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Inexpensive grab and go refractor?

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#26 Cbaxter

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 05:26 PM

I agree with the others suggesting the ST120. It is light, gives nice wide views, has enough apature to make a big difference on DSO compared to ST80, and doesn't cost a lot. I picked up one a few years ago for 225 and used it on a TW1 mount. If wide field is your goal and you already know what to expect from a fast achromat then I doubt you'll be disappointed. The lens cap that comes with it has a small stop down cap on it that reduces the apature/ups f ratio enough to give satisfying occasional planetary views, though I certainly wouldn't use a fast achromat as a primary planet scope.

Regards, good luck, and clear skies!

Edited by Cbaxter, 09 October 2020 - 05:28 PM.

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#27 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 05:28 PM

I recently moved and went from Bortle 8 to Bortle 5, but the problem is my yard has a lot of tree cover and I can't align my C8 on a GEM.

 

I know of a good spot nearby to set up the C8, but I would like a small grab and go scope for the yard for when I don't feel like dragging everything to a remote location.

 

I'm looking for a small scope for a quick scan of the sky.

 

I tried a C5 but found the FOV pretty narrow and sold it.

 

I was considering an Orion ST80 or a Vixen/Celestron 80mm F11 refractor.

 

I owned a Vixen 80mm F11 awhile back and it was pretty good. I'd love to find another.

 

Opinions?

Here's 2 Classic Vixens at $100 each...

 

https://www.cloudyni...-ota-very-good/

 

https://www.cloudyni...m-ota-for-sale/

 

I can also recommend a used Meade Series 5000 80mm F6 ED.  I sold mine for $400 here on CN, and I've seen a few pop up on eBay for even less.  Good Triplet, and very well made hardware.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 09 October 2020 - 05:30 PM.


#28 LDW47

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 06:43 PM

I agree with the others suggesting the ST120. It is light, gives nice wide views, has enough apature to make a big difference on DSO compared to ST80, and doesn't cost a lot. I picked up one a few years ago for 225 and used it on a TW1 mount. If wide field is your goal and you already know what to expect from a fast achromat then I doubt you'll be disappointed. The lens cap that comes with it has a small stop down cap on it that reduces the apature/ups f ratio enough to give satisfying occasional planetary views, though I certainly wouldn't use a fast achromat as a primary planet scope.

Regards, good luck, and clear skies!

Its one way to justify a faster scope as a buddy to the 120ST, it just adds to the experience !



#29 Tom Stock

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:11 PM

Thanks everyone.. I decided that I would try something completely different than my other scopes so I went with the ST80.  It's small enough that I can throw it in a bag if I go on a trip and it can service multiple uses.

 

Certainly not the best choice optically, especially for planets, but I'm more interested in wide field views of open clusters and cruising through the milky way which for once, I can actually see from my back yard.  

 

Bomber_Bob thanks for the link to the Vixens. I've owned one of those in the past (C80 Premium) and almost went for it again but decided to try something different this time.

 

I may try the ST120 later if I find I enjoy the ST80.


Edited by Tom Stock, 12 October 2020 - 08:14 PM.

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#30 erin

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:13 PM

Nice! Nothing wrong with a fun little scope! They’re my favorite waytogo.gif


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#31 barbie

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 02:31 PM

Agreed!! I'm having fun with my 72mm F5.8 ED apo!! It shows me everything I want to observe and is highly portable and highly transportable!!


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#32 alphatripleplus

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 03:05 PM

Best of luck with the ST80 - I'm still hanging on to mine.


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#33 aa6ww

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 04:14 PM

How about a new Astrotech 80ED with the new cool Astro Martin Grey focuser?

 

$399.00 and in stock.

 

 

https://www.astronom...ractor-ota.html

 

 

Ralph


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#34 Bomber Bob

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 04:45 PM

Bomber_Bob thanks for the link to the Vixens. I've owned one of those in the past (C80 Premium) and almost went for it again but decided to try something different this time.

 

YW!  FYI:  I just bought the C-80 Premium here on CN...  Based on what I've seen with a very clammy SP-C102 OTA, I'm expecting great views from this mint smaller 1980s Vixen...

 

Congrats on the ST80 -- a small scope with a big fan base.  I have an 80mm F5 RFT riding on my Meade 826.  I built it from one half of a WWII military surplus binocular, with the tube & hardware from a cheap Celestron (China) 90mm OTA...


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#35 LDW47

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 05:39 PM

My newly acquired 80mm Antares f6 with a 2” R&P focuser that I just converted to a White Lite scope sitting on one of my Porta II’s. I can still use it as a nite time gng for a change of pace, it puts up great views nite or day ! Its my 2nd, I should have kept the first, I had outfit it with a GSO 2” focuser from Agena but Antares r&p’s are pretty smooth. Live and learn I guess but I only paid $150 C for this one !

 

EBFB8F6F-625E-4E40-A03D-C38166509662.jpeg


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#36 LDW47

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 05:42 PM

Bomber_Bob thanks for the link to the Vixens. I've owned one of those in the past (C80 Premium) and almost went for it again but decided to try something different this time.

 

YW!  FYI:  I just bought the C-80 Premium here on CN...  Based on what I've seen with a very clammy SP-C102 OTA, I'm expecting great views from this mint smaller 1980s Vixen...

 

Congrats on the ST80 -- a small scope with a big fan base.  I have an 80mm F5 RFT riding on my Meade 826.  I built it from one half of a WWII military surplus binocular, with the tube & hardware from a cheap Celestron (China) 90mm OTA...

You will like the C-80 just like I would like your C102, lol ! 


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#37 Tom Stock

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 06:32 PM

Bomber_Bob thanks for the link to the Vixens. I've owned one of those in the past (C80 Premium) and almost went for it again but decided to try something different this time.

 

YW!  FYI:  I just bought the C-80 Premium here on CN...  Based on what I've seen with a very clammy SP-C102 OTA, I'm expecting great views from this mint smaller 1980s Vixen...

 

Congrats on the ST80 -- a small scope with a big fan base.  I have an 80mm F5 RFT riding on my Meade 826.  I built it from one half of a WWII military surplus binocular, with the tube & hardware from a cheap Celestron (China) 90mm OTA...

Good for you, I almost bought the C-80 too.  I really liked the one I had.   I only sold it to downsize preparing for the move.


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